Well it’s three weeks since I last posted about my Lattice Flower embroidery. It’s a silk ribbon embroidery and stumpwork project designed by Di Van Niekirk. I’ve made good progress this month, albeit over only about three nights maximum. This is where I was three weeks ago, having just finished the delphiniums….
I’m working strictly to the order on my book, otherwise I know I’d do the ones that look easy first and then prevaricate over the difficult ones. The next one to stitch was the irises…
I’ve tried very hard during this project to follow the book, after all I’m trying to learn new techniques and there’s always an ‘easier’ way to do things. This is the first time in this project I’ve not stuck strictly to the instructions in the book, though I did follow Di Van Niekirk’s instructions..
The book instructs you to use two sheets of dissolvable fabric, I did buy some of this to use, but it did look complicated as you have to ensure that every ribbon stitch is attached to another to secure it in place. I also felt it made quite a bulky flower.
When I googled how to make an iris in ribbon embroidery I found a U tube video by Di van Nie Kirk showing three different ways to stitch an iris, I decided to do number three, the more complex of the three.
My first task though was to dye some ribbon. I’ve got some lengths of plain ribbon and lots of silk paint, so I chose a yellow, tested it on a bit of kitchen roll and then dunked the ribbon in it. The official line is ‘It’s come out just like my flag irises in the garden’, the unofficial line is ‘It’s a bit bright, but I’m sure it will settle down!’
The method I chose mainly uses detached chain stitch and ribbon stitch, I’m pretty pleased with the result. It was interesting to watch Di doing ribbon stitch, the way she almost strokes the ribbon into position first. The ribbon doesn’t fully cover the background picture, but I can always arrange it just before I get it framed.
The stalks are made by binding cake decorating wire with embroidery thread. The wire is poked through the fabric at the bottom end, bound with thread and then overcast at the top. As there are quite a few stems it does make for a bulky point, I accidentally missed one off, but when I realised, I decided it wouldn’t be missed and it helped to reduce the bulk a bit.
The leaves are supposed to be in an organza ribbon, I decided to use silk ribbon, partly because I had some in stock and I find it easier to use, but also because I think iris leaves are quite fleshy and strappy.
The flowers at the base are meant to be rock roses and forget-me-nots. The pink roses are made with a spider’s web rose stitch, this one I’ve done quite a few times through Marilyn Pipes workshops at Denman College, so I’m happy with these. The lavender roses are made using a French knot rose, which is basically like a French knot, but you gather up a length of ribbon too. These came out prettily enough, but very small. I don’t see how with 4mm ribbon you can get it any bigger. In the end I stitched three instead of two and added a few French knots.
So in three weeks I’ve managed to complete a whole panel. I’m very pleased with the whole effect of this embroidery. The next panel is one of my favourites, though it’s a lot of embroidery, hopefully in three weeks time I’ll have made some progress.
The Stitch-a-long is organised by Avis of Stitching by the Sea, if you fancy joinng us, please contact Avis for details. There’s quite a few of us taking part now, all doing something different at our own speed. Please follow the lonks and see what everyone else is stitching. Everyone is one different time scales, so if therte’s nothing there, just pop back a bit later.